View from the top

Words by David Harley, tune by Don MacLeod

Recorded at CentreSound in the early 1980s.

View from the Top

You learn to fall, then you learn to fly
I’ve been a lifetime learning, but I always got by
Living in pain isn’t living in vain
I’m used to losing and there’s so much to gain

Your love’s a mountain that I’m learning to climb
And it’s a long way down but somehow I don’t mind
I know the dangers but I don’t want to stop
It’s worth the fear of falling for the view from the top

Dawn rings the changes from a crawl to a run
Out of the shadow and into the sun
It’s not surprising if the light hurts our eyes
But if loving you is crazy it’s too late to be wise

Sometimes a voice inside whispers “Take care of yourself:
What makes you think you’re the one to take care of anyone else?”
All I can say is, “Don’t care if I fall:
She’s got the best part of me – she might as well take it all.”

You’ll say I’m crazy, but lady, no joke
I’m scared of busting but I’m going for broke
And I don’t know if I’ll fly or I’ll fall
But living without you is no life at all.

Accelerated lady [demo]

This is a song I haven’t really thought about since the 70s, but it turned up when I started to (try to) rationalize my boxes and folders of lyrics, verse and prose, so I put it straight down as-is.

Between the bar and the dance floor / Thinking that maybe
I might just catch up / To my accelerated lady

Why don’t you keep on dancing? / Dance on by

Watching you at a party / Too drunk to see
What it might take / To make you come and talk to me

But you’d better keep on dancing / Dance on by

What makes you think / I should apologise
For once drowning / In those bedroom eyes

Why don’t you keep on dancing? / Dance on by

Lights run hot / But the bottle’s not yet dry

With a little luck and whisky I’ll forget / even your name by midnight

Better keep on dancing / Dance on By

David Harley

Two is a silence [demo]

I previously recorded a fairly polished version of this, complete with double-tracked vocals and bouzoukis. (See below.)

This is a quicker-and-dirtier solo version that has, however, the words as I sing them now…

Here’s the older version (remastered).

And here are the lyrics.

Two isn’t company, three is a crowd
Two is a silence, three is too loud
Two is a silence gets harder to break
But three always leaves one left over

Three into two isn’t good for the head
It’s no problem in math, but it’s bad news in bed
And it’s one for an ace and two for a pair
But three always leaves one left over

When we’re alone somehow he’s always there
You say it’s the same when you two are the pair
So it’s one for sorrow and two for joy

But three always leaves one left over

All the shouting is over and dead
Somehow there’s nothing much else to be said
And it’s one for the money and two for the show
But three always leaves one left over

Two isn’t company, three is a crowd
Two is a silence, three is too loud
Two is a silence gets harder to break
But three always leaves one left over

David Harley

Paradigms Lost

Since today is the Feast of Stephen, here’s a slightly different take on that walk in the snow.

Paradigms Lost

Moderately Good King Wenceslas
being a Free-Thinker
and not altogether sober
was stirred, but not shaken
at finding himself tripping
over the tangled feet of the Drunk
at his castle gates:

nor was he deaf
to the cry for pity
hanging in the frosty luminance
of a Bohemian night.

He was too humble
too weighed down
by his own sins and sensibilities
to offer his own meagre competence

So he called the Samaritans
(but the line was engaged)
so he called the police
(but they were out at a crime)
so he called the Council
and when he went out the next morning
the pavement was vacant.

Much later
with becoming humility
he breached the Gates of Eden
but was pronounced

Dead on Arrival.


Copyright David Harley 1980

demos for Shropshire Lad album

Castles & Kings (Harley) – demo with rough 2nd guitar part.

Kate of Colebrook Dale [Trad. – Harley] (not the Jon Raven adaptation)

The Bonny Boy (trad.) [finished?]